Tower Hamlets resident
Q: Please tell me about yourself.
A: My name is Ratsami and in 2004 I came to the UK from Thailand. I moved to Tower Hamlets with my family, and I have been living here ever since. I am a mother of 2 and I was a housewife for a long time until 2009 when I heard about Childcare training at account3. I didn’t go to high school, but I was provided with formal education and qualifications that helped me get a job. Before that, I would go to different playgroups with my children, just to take my kids out of the house, get to know people and the borough. I started with Level 1 alongside ESOL classes because I only knew basic English, and my children attended their nursery while I was studying. Then I progressed to Level 2 and started working at account3 as a childminder when a friend of mine asked me to look after her child at the nursery. I am currently part of the nursery management team, more precisely Room Leader and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).
Q: What are your aspirations and challenges?
A: My job is my passion. I really enjoy working with children, seeing them grow up and help them develop in different ways. Especially when they are young and do not have a good perception of danger, I am happy supporting them to mature, be independent, put their shoes on, how to make friends, be more sociable and not stuck indoors. I like giving them skills they will need for the future when they go to school.
I enjoy arts and crafts a lot, things such as painting, constructing, DIY-ing and I would like to learn more and develop my skills further. It would be good to have some type of training or courses because I think this would help me with my work. I think it is a way to do better at my job, supporting children develop and explore their own passions in different ways. I would also like share my knowledge and skills with other professionals and parents.
Q: How do you feel about being part of Tower Hamlets Women's Network?
A: It is a great space for women to talk openly about their experiences.
Q: What do you like about living in Tower Hamlets?
A: I have lived in different parts of the borough, mainly around Bethnal Green, and I always get along with my neighbours. I enjoylike that there is a lot of cultural diversity, and most people are friendly and say ‘hello’. I There are a lot of parks and libraries. I also like that there are many organisations and charities that support women and their families, provide training and childcare.
Q: What do you dislike about living in Tower Hamlets?
A: There is nothing I dislike. It would be nice to have healthier food options around theborough, because it is especially bad for the children. Another issue is, I see a lot of teenagers just hanging around doing drugs, getting involved with gangs and themselves in trouble. There should be more opportunities and support for teenagers, more Youth Centres with different training opportunities for those who do not want to go to school and pursue higher education.
Q: What changes would you like to see in Tower Hamlets?
A: More support is needed for the people in Tower Hamlets, especially families with young children. I would also like to see more programmes for parents and teenagers. Affordable housing is an issue, which need to be addressed.
Q: What is your message to the women in Tower Hamlets?
A: Be confident. If you know you are good at something or there is something you would like to learn, explore the training opportunities in the borough to gain more knowledge and develop your skills further. You can move forward in your life, and you know you can get that job. Believe that you can do it!
Q: And do you have a message to the council in Tower Hamlets?
A: I would like to see more commitment and actions, more opportunities for people of all ages. When I first moved here, there were a lot more opportunities, such as festival, funfairs and activities organised by the Council for children and their parents. I would also like to see improved playgrounds for younger children, especially the one in Bethnal Green Gardens.